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Friday, September 8, 2006
Sheppard Tries to Change the Subject Again
Topic: NewsBusters

In a pair of posts on Sept. 7, NewsBusters' Noel Sheppard tries to change the subject again as a diversion from criticism of the factual accuracy of "The Path to 9/11" by dragging Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" into. Sheppard's basic point is that nobody forced Moore to fix any factual errors in his movie. As Sheppard states in one post:

Moore was not compelled by a political party to re-edit it. Former President Clinton didn’t call the marketing company involved in the distribution of “Fahrenheit 911” and demand changes be made. The cable companies that have aired this schlockumentary since it was released to them haven't been required to amend its contents to better portray historical events.

Sheppard fails to point out in both posts that "Fahrenheit 9/11" was privately distributed and admission was charged to see it, while "The Path to 9/11" will be aired on free, federally regulated public broadcast airwaves. Privately distributed productions are not subject to any federal standards, and other privately distributed productions can counter it; as we've noted, conservatives made no less than three films to rebut "Fahrenheit." Broadcasters using public airwaves, however, are subject to some level of regulation.

Sheppard also fails to note that Disney, whose Miramax subsidiary produced "Fahrenheit 9/11," refused to distribute it, forcing Miramax to find another distributor. That's arguably a form of censorship, though it did ultimately receive wide distribution. And discredited Clinton-hater David Bossie (producer of one of those aforementioned "Fahrenheit" rebuttal movies) did attempt to censor the movie, filing a federal lawsuit to kill advertising for it as a purported violation of federal election laws.

Sheppard's attempts at diversion fail to conceal the fact -- just as it didn't earlier in the day, when he claimed that ABC's docudrama was only a movie, which would seem to contradict his whining about "Fahrenheit" -- that "The Path to 9/11" is still factually inaccurate, something that Sheppard apparently has no problem with. 

Posted by Terry K. at 2:13 AM EDT

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